Put it on ice

The real impact of winter weather

A Bulldog shovels snow to clear the walkways on campus. With the extreme winter weather Michiganders have faced, the roads and sidewalks have been slippery and difficult to walk on. Photo by: Megell Strayhorn | Multimedia Editor

There is no doubt that Ferris has experienced a particularly brutal winter season, and it has affected students and staff alike.

With three snow days in one week, the conditions have made history. Classes were canceled Jan. 28, Jan. 30 and Jan. 31 due to extreme cold and heavy snowfall.

“For me it was kind of nice, because I had an exam during that time, so I was able to have a little extra time to study for it and relax,” Ferris pre-pharmacy freshman Thomas Campbell said.

Many students did not like being stuck inside during the snow days.

“I liked it, but I was stuck in my room so I couldn’t enjoy it that much,” Ferris digital animation and game design sophomore Jacob Robinson said. “I stayed in my room all day, ate Ramen Noodles and watched anime.”

As more than a month has passed since the three campus closures, weather conditions have continued to be extreme. With bitterly cold temperatures and multiple snowstorms, many students have experienced multiple class cancellations.

“One of my professors commutes from Grand Rapids, so he’s been canceling class a lot. I think it’s good that he cancels classes, because you know, safety comes first, but also, we are now a couple weeks behind in the class,” Campbell said.

The harsh weather has impacted the Ferris community outside of the classrooms.

“We’ve seen an increase of what we call ‘PDA’ or ‘Property Damage Accidents,’ but we really haven’t seen a noticeable increase where people were injured,” Ferris Department of Public Safety (DPS) Chief Bruce Borkovich said.

DPS did not respond to any major incidents during the days where classes were canceled, but the harsh weather did affect the way in which officers and student workers did their jobs.

“We had two officers take pretty bad falls during that ice storm in our lot, so it can be dangerous. We also have student employees, and besides the students who are out enforcing parking regulations, we also have our foot patrollers. We tasked them both with some different duties that week. That week, their job was to go around and help students. They gave jump-starts to 62 students’ vehicles,” Borkovich said. “That isn’t normally what they do, but we’re going to adapt to the times. So if it’s extreme weather, far more important than writing a parking ticket is getting students unstuck or jump-starting their car so they don’t have to pay a $100 wrecker bill.”

The Ferris Outdoor Club was another group that snow and cold has had a major impact on. Ferris product design engineering technology senior and Outdoor Club President Nathaniel Cornell said that winter hikes and community service events have been canceled due to the weather.

“We still try to do as much as we can, weather permitting,” Cornell said. “We did a lot more last year. This year, I feel like its been colder and it’s kind of prevented us from going on as many hikes and the attendance has been dropped a lot.”